Culture

A Latina Created A Line Of Selena Sunglasses And Is Donating A Portion Of Proceeds To Help Migrant Children

For some people a pair of sunglasses are just a simple accessory one wears to complete an outfit. Yet Priscilla Manzo sees them as something much more influential and, in this case, an accessory that is making a difference. Manzo is the public relations manager at Topfoxx, a New York City-based sunglasses start-up, and a proud first-generation American whose father is Mexican-born. It’s a label she never forgets and has found a way to honor and represent her cultural background with a line of sunglasses. Say hello to the Selena Collection from Topfoxx, a new line of sunglasses. Fifteen percent of the proceeds from each purchase goes directly toward helping children in immigration shelters.

Priscilla Manzo moved across the country to New York City to follow her fashion dreams.

Manzo was born and raised in Fontana, California but moved over 2,000 miles to New York City when she started college. She juggled multiple internships, studied abroad and worked with impoverished Latin communities while in school. This all landed her a job as a public relations manager at Topfoxx, where she is able to work on various styles and types of sunglasses as well as create online graphics and content.

When Helen Getts, Creative Director at Topfoxx, was working on a pair of designs she tried them out on Manzo and instantly knew she had to dedicate the sunglasses to her.

“She thought they looked great on me but more than anything she was inspired by my background and upbringing,” Manzo said. “Not your average girl was our company slogan and we wanted these sunglasses to represent that.”

Manzo created the sunglasses as a way to pay tribute to her Latina background and help children in immigration detention centers.

CREDIT: Topfoxx

Growing up Manzo saw poverty in different communities especially Latino ones near her hometown. While attending college she would offer her time up to volunteer and help at soup kitchens.

“I was so fortunate growing up and always wanted to give back,” Manzo said. “Having a background in community service, I wanted to incorporate charity into this project.”

That’s why Manzo teamed up with Project Paz, a NYC non-profit that works to help Latino children in the U.S. and Mexico. Fifteen percent of all proceeds from each purchase goes towards helping children that were separated from their parents at the border. She says her Mexican-born father and Latina background was a big reason she chose the charity.

“When my dad came into the U.S. when he was younger he had to cross the border. It made me reflect and what if that were me. What if he got caught? I wouldn’t be here today and my life would be completely different,” Manzo said. “I know we are a small brand but we wanted to give back in any way we could.”

She named the sunglasses after Selena Quintanilla because of what her name and image represents for Latina empowerment.

CREDIT: Topfoxx

When Manzo and Getts brainstormed a name for the collection they were looking for something that would instantly be recognizable with woman empowerment and Latina culture. Manzo recalls how much of an impact Selena Quintanilla, the Queen of Tejano music, had on her growing up and how she is a role-model to so many young girls. That’s why naming the sunglasses collection after her was a no-brainer.

“When we looked for a name I wanted it to be a powerful women and I thought why not Selena,” Manzo said. “I listened to her music and her movie all the time growing up. She’s not even with us but she’s still such a force in the Latino community.”

The sunglasses have been a huge success and are hopefully just a start of more similar projects.

While the collection is limited edition, the cause is just the beginning. Manzo and Topfoxx are planning to create more projects similar to the Selena Collection that will show woman empowerment and give back to the community. Topfoxx is one of the very few only woman-owned brands and Manzo expects them team up with women charities in the near future.

For Manzo, the collection is a dream come true but it wouldn’t be possible without her sharing her story and putting the time in. She says any Latina that is willing to share her story is helping create conversation and that is more important than any accessory.

“It may be scary to share your story but its important to create these conversations now more than ever,” Manzo said. “I hope this collection touches a community and inspires the next girl to be bold and more importantly be themselves.”

You can purchase the Selena sunglasses on the Topfoxx website. They are a limited-time product and come in four colors — black, blue, silver, and rose gold.


READ: A Classic Mexican Card Game Is Getting A Makeover That’s All About Women Empowerment

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Maluma Teams Up With Luxury Brand Balmain For This Must-Have Fashion Collection

Entertainment

Maluma Teams Up With Luxury Brand Balmain For This Must-Have Fashion Collection

It’s 2021 and we have no shortage of epic collaborations between some of the world’s biggest Latino stars and top fashion brands. Everyone from J Balvin and Bad Bunny to Cardi B and now Maluma have entered the fashion industry to sell a lifestyle. And people are buying!

Maluma and French fashion house Balmain bring us a limited-edition collaboration.

Colombian superstar Maluma has partnered with French fashion house Balmain to launch a limited edition collection that will be available from April 12 through June 1 in all Balmain stores, including brick and mortar and online.

The collection, which includes sneakers, blazers, t-shirts, pants and other ready-to-wear clothing, will also be available at Saks Fifth Avenue as of April 15.

The Balmain + Maluma line marks the first time ever the brand has designed a line with a celebrity. And it seems like the brand’s creative designer is pretty excited about the collab. Through photos on his Instagram, Olivier Rousteing referred to the reggaetón singer as his inspiration, captioned with supportive laudatory messages about merging their cultures and joint design process.

“Maluma, more than him being an incredible singer,” Rousteing notes, “[brings] a lot to the fashion community with his joy and his happiness and the fact that he’s always playing up his style from different kinds of houses from around the world, mixing different cultures as well… I think the collaboration with Maluma is obviously giving to Balmain and pushing the aesthetic more internationally.”

Maluma also seems to be pumped for the opportunity!

Although Balmain has featured other celebrities in advertising campaigns and runway shows, it has never actually enlisted a celebrity to help design a full, name-branded line.

The brand’s high profile, along with the haute-couture retail price of the collection, underscores how entrenched Maluma is now in the global fashion world and how valuable his endorsement and name is perceived by high fashion.

“It’s been one of my goals to work with a respected fashion house on a collection, but this journey was more exciting, as Olivier pushed me to design with him and sketch looks that I personally will wear off the stage and showcase high couture with a bit of Papi Juancho,” says Maluma, referencing both his album name and alter ego.

But if you want a piece of the collection be prepared to drop those coins.

Credit: Phraa / Balmain

Items in the Balmain + Maluma collection range from a black cotton T-shirt that retails for $495, to $1,500 high top sneakers to a $2,555 multi-color print bomber jacket.

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Met Gala 2021 Is Happening And Amanda Gorman Is Set To Host The America-Themed Fashion Event

Entertainment

Met Gala 2021 Is Happening And Amanda Gorman Is Set To Host The America-Themed Fashion Event

It’s 2021 and the Met Gala is back this year – after being canceled in 2020 thanks to a pandemic – with superstar poet Amanda Gorman being eyed to host the fashion event of the year. Given the 23-year-old’s show-stopping performance at the inauguration, the theme fittingly will be a celebration of America and American designers.

The Met Gala will return in 2021 with a very special guest as host.

Vogue’s “Oscars of Fashion” famously takes place on the first Monday of May. However, this year it’s been pushed back to September 13, in hopes that life will have returned to something closer to normal by then.

Epic poet Amanda Gorman is reportedly in talks to co-host the event alongside Tom Ford, who is the academy’s president. The breakout star of President Biden’s inauguration, Gorman is on the cover of the magazine’s May issue and the subject of a relentlessly glowing profile inside.

The black-tie gala, which raises funds for Met’s Costume Institute, is normally fashion’s biggest night and sees guests from Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Cardi B to Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and even Maluma.

The event was canceled in 2020 thanks to a global pandemic.

The world’s most glamorous party was canceled in 2020 because of COVID-19, which was (and still is) raging the planet at the time. There was a virtual event in place of the 2020 event, with celebs like Julia Roberts, Priyanka Chopra and Amanda Seyfried showing off their looks from home and stars like Mindy Kaling and Adam Rippon taking part in the #MetGalaChallenge, recreating looks from past years.

This year’s event will draw inspiration from all things USA.

The theme of this year’s Met Gala has not been announced, but Page Six says the night will be devoted to honoring America and American designers, following the 18-month-long COVID crisis in this country.

Recent past themes for the event have included “Camp: Notes on Fashion” (2019), “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” (2018), and “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between (2017). And don’t forget 2016, when Zayn Malik wore robot-arms to Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology.

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